One of Aaron’s favorite things to do in all the world is to eat out at a restaurant. The promise of eating out makes every doctor visit or dental procedure totally worth his time.
Aaron might vary a little in what he will eat at the different restaurants that we visit, but always…if possible…he will order a side salad with “no croutons and two ranches.”
And often he will order another of his favorites…French fries!
Not long ago, while he munched on his fries at lunch, he had an idea.
“Mom?” he asked, “can we make French fries?”
“I kind of made them last night in the air fryer,” I answered as I reminded him of the potato wedges that we had eaten.
“I didn’t see them that way,” he responded.
I smiled at Aaron’s response.
He has, yet again, given me something to ponder.
A couple blogging friends mentioned Psalm 37 last week. I decided to read slowly through that wonderful Psalm in the mornings after my regular Bible study.
Verse 3 jumped out at me.
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.”
Guess what the word ‘cultivate’ means? It means to ‘feed on.’
Dwell in the land and feed on faithfulness.
‘Dwell’ can also mean ‘rest.’
The land is wherever God has put me.
So, I am to rest where God has put me and feed on faithfulness.
That sounds pleasant at first glance. But what if the place God has put me is less than ideal?
What if it’s just downright hard?
Fact is, God didn’t say that I am to be faithful when my pasture is lush and green…when my place in life is fun and easy and fulfilling.
He just said to dwell there in the pasture where He has placed me…stay…rest.
And while there, feed on faithfulness.
Here I am, approaching the age that I used to think was REALLY old, and I am still in a large sense raising a child. This time of my life was what I used to hear being referred to as having the time of my life.
Empty nest and all that.
Hasn’t quite worked out that way for us.
But I can’t deny the fact that God didn’t qualify the type of land He would ordain for me. He just told me to rest there.
And to feed on faithfulness.
You see, we can all be faithful where we are. The form it takes is what sometimes trips us up.
Caring for Aaron, in all the shapes that caring takes, is me feeding on faithfulness.
But many times, I’m like Aaron as he compared the air fryer potato wedges to French fries.
I don’t see it that way.
I don’t see managing Aaron’s medicines, doctor visits, tons of paperwork, or driving him everywhere as having a lot to do with my faithfulness to God.
I most definitely get tangled up in tiredness and complaining as I work to keep him fed, active, happy, encouraged, and clean.
Sadness at seizures and frustration during behaviors jerk my emotions in all directions.
And as the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months and the months into years, it sure is easy to lose the sense of living in faithfulness to God.
Seems like I often compare my grass to others, and usually theirs is so much greener than mine.
Their feeding on faithfulness seems exciting and fun.
Mine? Pretty dull and daily.
And often dirty.
But something I’m learning…ever so slowly…is to look up to God when I feel like looking over to someone else’s land. Keep my focus on my Shepherd and on the land He has given to me.
To see every tiring moment as an opportunity to trust Him, to do good, to rest in this place, and to feed on faithfulness.
To remind myself, at the end of another tiring day, that God smiles on my faithfulness.
“I didn’t see it that way, God,” I often think.
“Oh, but I did, my dear,” God whispers.
And I rest.